It’s Time To Get With It
It’s an amazing word picture when you really think about it. In the Hebrew it literally means that God clothed Himself with Gideon. Just like you and I would put on a jacket, God covered himself with Gideon. To the casual observer it was Gideon on the outside. Gideon was the one blowing the trumpet. Gideon was the one who seemingly rallied the troops for battle. He had apparently come out of hiding, taken action, and seized the moment. But in reality? It was God. Yes, on the outside it was Gideon. That’s the one who everyone saw doing the work. But on the inside it was God.
Three thoughts immediately come to my mind. First of all, and this is incredibly humbling to me, God often chooses to work through human agency. God did not need Gideon. If God had so desired, He could have simply eliminated the Midianite threat with a single word. Remember the Red Sea? That one was all God. Remember that time during the reign of Hezekiah when the armies of Assyria surrounded Jerusalem? During the night the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 Assyrians dead. Once again, all God. God doesn’t need our help. But in His grace and mercy He still chooses to use us. God allows us to be a part of His work. Remember that the next time you feel weighed down by your calling. Ministry is not a responsibility. Being chosen by God? Being used by God? It’s a privilege.
Secondly, we need to do a much better job of recognizing the true source of our success. We are far too quick to give ourselves the credit. Gideon performed his role but God was the catalyzing power. Without God Gideon is still hiding down in the wine press. God was the One who had called him. God was the One who had repeatedly encouraged him. And now God was the One who was enabling Him. The real likelihood here is that Gideon remains inactive apart from God’s indwelling presence. He’s hiding in his father’s house while the crowd outside is chanting, “Kill the beast!” But then God clothes Himself with Gideon. And the man who was filled with fear and insecurities becomes God’s man for the hour. All the credit belonged to God. The same holds true for us. Our successes are His successes. Apart from Him we are nothing. Without we can do nothing.
Thirdly, it’s time to get with it. I love this picture of God clothing Himself with Gideon because it reminds me of a critical NT truth. The Holy Spirit has done the same with each of us. He dwells within us. He resides within us. God’s Holy Spirit has clothed Himself with our humanity. What does that mean? It means we are all out of excuses. The God of the entire universe lives within us. We already have all that we need to do His work. Our frailties, our failings, and our fears no longer hold center court. He lives on the inside. He is the catalyzing force. He is the resident power. He is our divine enablement. It’s time we took a lesson from Gideon and got up off the couches of our comfort and complacency. His call has gone forth. The time has come. We, His people, need to get with it.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. The Spirit of the Lord has come into us. For Gideon it was temporary. For us it’s permanent. But in either scenario the outcome should be the same. We have both been given promises. “I will be with you.” We have both been given a command. “Have I not sent you?” We have both received in the Holy Spirit all the necessary empowerment and enablement to do the job, to finish the work, to complete the task at hand. The only difference? Gideon got up and did his part. He blew the trumpet. He rallied the people of God. He led them into battle. Church, we are all out of excuses. We need to stop with all the rationalizations. All around us is a world that is lost and dying in their sin. We do not lack for need. We do not lack for opportunities. We have His presence. We have His promise. And we have His power. It’s time to get with it.